We get asked for lots of advice, which we absolutely love!
Today we are going to share a question that we get asked a LOT.
“I work out so I can enjoy my favorite foods. Does it really matter what I eat, as long as I don’t eat too much?! I hear so much conflicting information about this that it gets overwhelming.”
If you’ve been following us for any period of time, you might already know the answer to this question.
We hate to break it to you … but YES. It definitely matters.
But we totally understand WHY people think it doesn’t matter.
All too often we think of foods only in terms of how many calories they contain …and ALL the diet fads, trends and “quick fixes” reinforce this belief.
Seriously, have you ever seen those “burpee equivalent” or “exercise equivalent” charts for some foods, telling you how much exercise you have to do to burn them off?
HERE’S THE PROBLEM WITH THAT KIND OF THINKING …
Your food is WAY MORE than its calories! The actual QUALITY of what you eat has a powerful impact on your health.
If all calories were the same, it would not matter what you ate. But they are not.
Food carries information molecules, instructions, and code that programs your biology with every bite for better or worse.
- drives inflammation,
- triggers oxidative stress,
- promotes imbalances in hormone and brain chemistry,
- overloads your detoxification system,
- depletes your energy,
- damages your microbiome, and
- changes your gene expression to turn on disease-causing genes.
Real, whole nutrient and phytonutrient- rich food does the opposite—
- turns off inflammation,
- increases antioxidant systems,
- balances hormones and brain chemistry,
- boosts detoxification,
- increases energy,
- optimizes your microbiome, and
- turns on disease-preventing, health-promoting genes.
Food impacts all these core systems or networks in the body.
You’ve heard the old saying, “You are what you eat,” right? You don’t want to build a body out of junk food!
Some foods contain a LOT more nutrients and benefits than others … and those same foods can also help fight inflammation in your body.
You already know what they are … they’re whole foods like:
- lean proteins,
- healthy fats, and
- unprocessed grains.
And other foods can be the OPPOSITE of that, containing a lot of empty calories that can actually PROMOTE inflammation in your body. These are foods that are high in:
- processed grains,
- and more.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t EVER have your favorite foods! Everything in moderation is the name of the game – as long as you don’t have any allergies related to those foods.
This is where a shift to something like an 80/20 or 90/10 mindset can come into play, where you eat nutrient-dense foods 80% to 90% of the time, with little “extras” thrown in every once in a while.
Knowing you have some treats coming up in the future can actually make it easier for some people to stick with a healthy eating plan most of the time.
One thing to remember with all of this … portion sizes still matter!
This circles back around to that 80 percent – 20 percent ratio. Eating an entire box of cookies or a whole pizza amounts to more than 20 percent of “extras” for almost every one of us!
We hope this helps clear things up a little for a very common question! Thanks for reading, and don’t forget, our simple philosophy in nutrition (portion sizes, balanced macronutrients and eliminating highly processed foods) is a focus in our From Stressed to Best Boot Camp. Check that out if you’re ready to get in the best shape of your life!